Making time to get shit done

January seemed like a luxurious whirlwind. It evaporated quickly, as people slowly trickled back from their annual holidays and into my previously spacious calendar.

As I watched the space in my calendar disappear, along with my ability to get any actual work done, I did what any normal person would do – I complained on Twitter.

I had fallen out of the habit of blocking out my calendar so that I would have time to do the work that needs to happen between meetings.

Although, that week, I was not particularly successful at protecting my calendar from the deluge of meetings. It was a good lesson. And, my complaint to the Twitterverse yielded a lot of great advice which I thought was worth sharing here.

Block out Get Shit Done time

“I block 1.5 days a week off specifically with this kind of hold. At first, some colleagues were frustrated. Now, we’ve defined one of those days as a team wide no meetings day and they think I’m a genius :)”

“I block out GSD afternoons on a Friday for my team. Worked quite well so far.”

Find your balance

“My favourite ratio is the number of meetings you create versus how many meetings you accept”

“Also probably only accept about 2/3rds of the meetings I get invited to.”

Time for tasks

“I try to schedule deliberate blocks to do certain tasks I know need to be done within a certain time frame”

“I did find it was more successful when I labelled the section with the actual work I wanted to focus on.”

Room to think and plan

“I sometimes block time in my calendar to catch up and get some work done as well as to just think, plan, and get organised.”

“And if you can block out #thefirst2hours wherever possible. Good thinking and working time.”

Space for self-care

“I even block out time for gym workouts!”

“I block out lunch every day. That’s my minimum break from meetings.”
@_RebeccaJackson (me)

Try a tool

“If you use the Cortana scheduler ( it will auto-book daily AND weekly focus time for you. Super useful feature.”

Do you have other tips?

If you have a great tip for managing your calendar so you can get shit done, please share in the comments below.

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